Having Original Characters In The Dark Knight Rises Is A Great Thing
There is a downside to comic book fanaticism, and Iím not referring to the damage it can inflict on a bank account. Iím talking about surprise. Knowing that Doc Ock was to be the villain in Spider-Man 2, I knew from the get go that there would be a scene in which Alfred Molina would strap on a set of mechanical arms. Learning that The Dark Knight took elements from works like The Killing Joke and The Long Halloween, I didnít know exactly what would happen in the film, but I did have a vague idea.
Enter todayís news that both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard would be playing wholly original characters never before seen in more than 70 years of publication in . The story upended months of rumors that said Gordon-Levitt would be playing Alberto Falcone and that Cotillard would play Talia al Ghul. Instead, they will play John Blake, a Gotham police officer assigned to special duty by Commissioner Gordon and Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member who helps Bruce in his time of grief and aids in ďphilanthropic endeavors.Ē Some have already written this off as a case of wasted talent and are upset that they wonít be playing villains (despite the fact that people were already upset about the number of antagonists). I, however, argue that this is the best thing that Christopher Nolan, Jonah Nolan and David S. Goyer could have done.
Outside of the brief character descriptions given above, we have absolutely no idea who these characters are. We donít even know what theyíre level of involvement in the story is. We can guess that Blake is hired by Gordon as part of the team to hunt down Batman, but the details just arenít there. We can assume that Tate will be the filmís new love interest, but there isnít any evidence to back that up. Instead, we are getting something that we have been begging for more of since Inception was released last July: creativity. Some of the most brilliant minds in the film industry today have crafted a pair of characters that audiences will spend months trying to analyze and learn about, but considering the directorís incredible ability to talk at length without giving anything away, we will spend all of our time in the dark, and thatís the way it should be. It adds mystique and it adds tension to The Dark Knight Rises, but, most importantly of all, it adds a whole new level of entertainment, and thatís what film is all about.
There is, of course, the possibility that weíve just been tricked. Since the announcement thereís been plenty of speculation that Cotillard is indeed playing Talia al Ghul, daughter of Raís al Ghul, who was played by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins. Gordon-Levitt could be playing an altered version of an established character with a different name. But if that is the case, do we really want to know? Do we want the curtain in front of King Kong dropped before everyone has taken their seats in the theater?
Complain all you want, but weíve just been given a gift. When it was first suggested that Gordon-Levitt would be playing Alberto Falcone, the original report also mentioned that the character was also known as The Holiday Killer, which was a huge revelation in The Long Halloween. Had that story been true, nobody sitting in the theater opening weekend would have been surprised. Even with the revelation of Gordon-Levitt and Cotillardís characters we still know practically nothing about The Dark Knight Rises. Letís enjoy that while we still can.
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